The electronics recycling industry isn’t viewed as sexy or interesting, but if the public really understood what went on behind the political scenes, the stories could rival anything you see on your favorite nighttime drama.
So what’s going on?
Below is a complete run-down that includes a link to an article from resource-recycling.com that reveals part of our NJ ‘politics-as-usual’ in action.
Here’s the whole story:
- At some point over the years, manufacturers stopped paying to recycle their end-of-life electronic products and the financial responsibility was shifted to the local NJ recycling community. That means your “FREE” electronics recycling is now funded with your taxpayer dollars despite the millions to billions the manufacturers are making. As a result, local recyclers have been begging the Senate for change. They want to see an electronics scrap law passed that would move the financial responsibility of recycling FROM the taxpayers and BACK to the manufacturers. Makes sense, right?
- Well, in response to the local recycling community’s pleas, John Gray from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced (October 2016) that the “…DEP (has) suggested several amendments to an electronic scrap reform bill that would hand greater recycling program control to the manufacturers.”
- Sounds like the local NJ recyclers are getting what they wished for, yet that’s not the case at all. The NJ DEP’s amendments STILL serve the manufacturers…NOT the local NJ recycling community.
- How is that? As the article states, NJ’s DEP is handing over full recycling oversight responsibility to the manufacturers. The state of NJ will no longer be involved in any recycling decision-making. This includes the NJDEP letting manufacturers decide in what towns and municipalities manufacturing-funded facilities will reside. So if a manufacturing facility is located really far from a town that needs the services, those towns are being forced to hire local electronic waste scrappers to help with the collections. And according to the NJDEP, those local e-scrappers are not currently funded by the manufacturers and are considered ‘out of system’ vendors. The NJDEP are currently deciding if the manufacturers will be financially responsible to pay for those local ‘out of system’ e-scrappers, and if not, our taxpayers dollars will still be funding the recycling efforts.
- If the NJDEP decides that manufacturers DON’T need to pay for the local e-scrappers services, and the manufacturer’s don’t authorize the building of a new recycling facility to assist far away towns, then NOTHING will have changed. Taxpayers will continue to fund electronic recycling efforts and it’s politics-as-usual in NJ.
- And you know what the cherry on top of the e-waste bill cake is? Our NJ Governor Chris Christie will probably veto any amendments to the new e-scrap bill that would help lesson the NJ taxpayers burden. He already vetoed a similar law that was proposed in April 2016 called S-981. Could it be Christie is caving to manufacturer lobbyists? Wonder why that would be….)
- The state of NJ can’t rely on our Governor Chris Christie to do the right thing for small business. If you look at his record, he even recently passed a gas tax that will increase business costs which will need to be passed onto consumers in the form of higher service and product prices.
If you care even a little about how your NJ municipal taxpayer money is spent, please call 609-292-6000 or write Governor Chris Christie’s office and tell him to pass the new e-scrap law. Your single voice can help NJ taxpayers finally get a bit of a break…